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Training Women to Become Balwadi Teachers

 

Vanasthali Rural Development Centre (VRDC); Pune, Maharashtra

Contact: Ms. Sushama Sathaye

Phase 1:

January 2019 – January 2020

Budget: Rs.3,20,000

PPI support in 2018-19 was utilised for teachers training program. This program is the backbone of the Vanasthali Rural Development Centre’s efforts in improving learning experiences and facilities of rural children at primary and pre-primary level. PPI funding benefited 108 women from the districts of Pune, Nasik, Satara and Latur this year. The teachers in training get exposure to subjects like Child Psychology, Child Education and Upbringing, Nutrition and Health, Child Welfare, Management of Pre-primary Schools, and Methodology in Child Education. These women have been since engaged in activities which are aimed at nurturing the curious minds of children while nurturing their creativity.

Two additional programs of shorter duration (2-3 days each) were conducted to encourage paper bag making and use to reduce the use of plastic bags in rural areas. During these workshops, teachers were also provided with information on new curriculum in schools and with alternate teaching strategies such as the use of theater in classrooms to not only engage the students but to also motivate the teachers.

Phase 2:

Total Budget: Rs. 9,27,000

2021 Budget: Rs. 3,50,000

PPI has funded a two-year project through VRDC a teacher training program with a goal of bringing rural school children on par with urban and privileged sections of the area. They attempt to do this by engaging locally available and underutilized women’s workforce by training them in innovative methods to engage the minds of the rural children. There has been a slow and gradual opening of restrictions that have been imposed initially in March due to nationwide lockdown. Schools have not yet been opened. Hence many of their activities are on hold. However, they are attempting their best to keep teachers engaged and in contact with parents as much as possible within the parameters permitted. They are doing it as small group activities, home visits with all the cautionary safeguards in place and wherever possible through online instructions and activities as well. They are also distributing books which are proving to be of great help during these trying times. VRDC has been able to start programs in Language and Balwadi teacher training in 12 villages around Pune.

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